Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery,
By David Clark
A Book Review
David Clark eloquently writes about his experiences as an addict, a recovering addict, and ultimately, an ultra marathoner. It’s a chronicle of triumph over terrible adversity, and a true inspiration to anyone who wants to see light conquer darkness in an extreme situation. It’s about overcoming alcoholism, losing a lot of weight (he once was at 320 lbs.), eating a good diet, and how to run a good race. In this case, the race is 100 miles, or over three times the length of the Boston Marathon. He details in great style his training, and how he started out with a “Turkey Trot” of 5 km, but ends up doing an Iron Man triathlon, all the while on his path to the 100 miles. It’s truly an incredible accomplishment, the “what and how” of pushing the human body to new limits, when one is incredibly motivated.
Now, I’m not that motivated, but, he has inspired me to take up my weight training again, after being told by the so-called medical community that I really shouldn’t do that. Only aerobic activity counts in their world, or so I was told. Well, you know what they can do with that. Sometimes you come to the conclusion that what they really want are 97 pound, anorexic weaklings. Besides, when was the last time any of them pumped serious iron? And you know what? I do feel much better: Able to do more, and I have more energy.
David breaks his book into more or less three sections: The first details his addiction to alcohol, and how he finally came to the realization that if he didn’t get well, he was going to die. This isn’t light reading, as he really details what life for an alcoholic is like. This is an important concept, because most of us non-alcoholics have no clue what this is. The middle part, a smaller section, is on diet and how not to eat junk food. Eating your meals at McD’s every day really isn’t a healthy option. The last section deals with running, and lots of it. He even details his “fashion choices” along the way, like, what do you wear that doesn’t make you look like you weigh 320 lbs, and you’re in the gym for the first time? That could be a really tough one. He gives advice or what I would call experience, on what it’s like to keep it all together mentally and physically as you’re running 100 miles. Not many of us would even attempt such a thing, but it does give whole new meaning to a marathon: An Ultra Marathon.
Clark, David. “Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery.” 2014.